A Florida TaxWatch economic report
University Research Parks in Florida
Economic Impact of University Research Parks
University research parks attempt to create a compact industry cluster, where all the specialized components of the cluster can work together, providing expertise in multiple fields. The firms benefit from the collaboration opportunities provided by the proximity of the components of the innovation process. The universities benefit from the opportunities to train students, the opportunities for the faculty to consult, and by helping faculty learn best practices. When these components are present, researchers come to these areas because jobs and research facilities are there; and companies come because talent and potential partners are there.
Investors also come, because when the process is working, new commercial technologies are being spun out of the research findings. The jobs in university research parks also support the indirect and induced job creation in their regional economies. Often companies that supply research parks will relocate to an area near the park, creating jobs in the region. Demand from the employees of the parks creates additional jobs in many industries, including production and services.
The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University
One example of a dynamic university research park in Florida is the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The Research Park is a special independent district and is independent of FAU.
The Research Park has a broad mix of organizations that collaborate in developing companies to advance the Florida economy. The Research Park created the Technology Business Incubator, which hosts the investor network New World Angels, and the Institute for the Commercialization for Public Research. This is in addition to more than 30 startup and 22 growth technology companies, which together employ more than 1,300 Floridians.
The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University is working with FAU to integrate the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship in the FAU College of Business into the Research Park. The new initiative would help the faculty, students, and companies validate new technologies, fund them, and get them to market quickly, creating more new products and sustainable jobs.
The President and CEO of Research Park at FAU Andrew Duffell says, “A research park is the critical interface between academia and the private sector. Innovative companies recognize the opportunity to engage the university community, and offer ways for faculty and students to experiment with new concepts in a real-world environment.”
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